E-Cigarette Ads End Up In Kid’s Game

Ads are commonplace in a lot of game apps these days, including apps aimed at kids. Not all ads are equal, though, and controversy has arisen over an e-cigarette company’s particular advertisement in an iPad kids’ game.

As you can see in the picture below, an ad for the electronic Vype cigarette by British American Tobacco ended up clearly seen in a pet game simulation that’s aimed at kids. As a result, Vype has pulled all advertising from apps at the moment, and apologized through its Twitter account.

In addition, a rep gave the following statement to Mashable.

“We apologise that an advert has ended up on an channel that it clearly wasn’t intended or appropriate for. As soon as this was brought to our attention, we pulled all our online advertising whilst we look into this matter further and establish how it happened.

Vype is an e-cigarette brand marketed and sold by Nicoventures, a subsidiary of British American Tobacco. Children are not, and will never be, the target audience for Vype, which is a product aimed at adult consumers who are able to make an informed choice regarding which brand they choose.”

No word yet on when the advertisements will run again.

Source: Mashable

A New World For Captain America

The best Captain America stories have always presented a conflict between his unflappable morality and the often wanting standards of the modern world, and that’s a primary element in the upcoming movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier. As SHIELD’s pro-active approach rubs Cap the wrong way, a new threat emerges to global security and a deadly adversary appears in the Winter Soldier.

 

Real-Time Social Gets Personal

When it comes to Twitter, we all let our hair down from time to time, for instance tweeting about how weak-kneed we are in the face of pizza. Now wouldn’t it come as a surprise if you tweeted about Papa John’s and got an answer? It seems brands are catching on to how easy it is to track down potential customers and catch them when they’re in the mood for their products on Twitter.

 

It’s not just food brands that are capitalizing on reaching out to us when we make our desires public. Real estate franchise Coldwell Banker is doing just the same thing when it comes to users tweeting about important life events. Companies like LocalResponse {link no longer active} and Hiplogiq have known about the power of exclusivity and making users feel special for some time now. However, you don’t need to be a huge brand to utilise this idea for yourself. This outreach might prove effective for both large and small local business, but the execution might differ. The system requires some hands at the keyboard for some real-time interaction and does not suit automated responses.

Using social tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, brands are filtering through the morass to find both keywords and influencers that could prove important to them. When these influencers are compelled to post about the brand on their own network, this compounds the outreach effort by increasing social views from the influencer’s network. The system is a great vehicle for promotions and to get users to provide their emails so marketers have a direct line to consumers.

This new method of brand outreach is the culmination of research {link no longer active} that shows that brand tweets drive site visitations and are more likely to inspire users to consider actually purchasing the product, especially when a promotion is involved. When you do get a previously out-of-network user to follow your brand, the likelihood that they will recommend your product to someone else is 60 percent.

It might be time to do more than just tweeting about products and promotions. The future of social marketing may require getting one-on-one with the public in a way that humanizes brands and creates a relationship with consumers.

Source: MediaPost

Amazon Set-Top Box Delayed

Amazon was hoping to have a set-top box model to compete with the likes of Apple TV and Roku in time for the holiday season. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

The company has recently delayed the release of the device, maybe even outside of the Christmas window. Though a specific reason wasn’t given, it appears more time is being put into its development, just as the Wall Street Journal previously reported.

Sources close to the project stated that the box would be based on an Android-like set-up similar to the Kindle Fire tablets, with the option to let third-party apps provide their own programming for it. The big feature, though, obviously would’ve been the focus on Amazon’s own Prime programming, between both movies and TV shows.

No new release information has been given as of yet — the device’s existence has not even been acknowledged by Amazon so far.

Source: The Verge

Brazil Emerges As Gaming Powerhouse

By Joost van Dreunen, Ph.D.

Brazil, the world’s fifth most populous country, is a Latin American goliath of interactive entertainment. According to our most recent analysis, digital games revenue in Latin America will grow from $1.4 billion in 2013e to $2.4 billion 2015e. This makes the Brazil games market the fifth largest in the world.

The Brazil games market accounts for 62 percent of the Latin American market. Counting almost 200 million people, Brazil’s Internet penetration is growing at a rapid pace. Where the worldwide Internet penetration currently stands at 32 percent, Brazil’s Internet penetration recently reached 50 percent making the country a perfect market for digital games.

For more on this story, see the full article.

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Next-Gen Systems ‘Almost Identical’

Many are wondering about the difference in specifications between Microsoft’s Xbox One console and Sony’s PlayStation 4 system, curious about which console is the most powerful. A couple of select Japanese game developers believe they’re not so far apart.

Japanese game developers Shinji Mikami of Resident Evil fame and Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune both believe that the processing power of both systems is almost a mirror image.

“There’s no real difference between them,” said Mikami as he spoke to Edge magazine. “When Xbox One was first announced it had lower specs than PS4, but now they’re almost identical.”

Meanwhile, Inafune added, “I don’t think there’s a major difference between them. If you get down to the tiny details then maybe each is better at one thing than the other, but it doesn’t really impact the way you make a game.”

He added, “It’s not like PS4 or Xbox One are particularly hard to develop for. Quite the opposite: you can make whatever you want on either one, and that should be enough for anyone.”

Both systems will be released in U.S. retail next month, with the PlayStation 4 arriving on November 15 and the Xbox One releasing a week later, on November 22. No doubt we’ll see some head-to-head comparisons of different games soon after that.

Source: Computer and Video Games

OUYA Hitting Shelves At Target

Even though OUYA has had some rough patches in its transition from KickStarter wonder to full retail console, the company is confident that it’ll find new business revenue for it. Today, Julie Uhrman, founder of OUYA, announced that the system has made its way to Target stores nationwide, and that demo units are being planned as well. That way, people can try before they buy.

“What is the most exciting is how we’ve been embraced by retail,” said Uhrman, speaking with Polygon. “When we launched in June, we were live in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.  We launched with GameStop, Target, Best Buy and GAME. This month, we are going full chain with Target.”

The retail chain helped guide the decision to bring the system to all 1,800 of its locations. “That allows us to do national campaigns and have a national footprint,” said Uhrman.

In addition to the system’s rollout in stores and the demo units, OUYA is also planning a box redesign to “highlight and promote more games and new content.” The retailer will also offer a $10 bonus gift card for anyone who purchases the system.

“We have been building out demo stations,” said Uhrman. “The reality is they are incredibly expensive and you have to man them.”

Wal-Mart could be the next interested chain as well. “I would expect something, us to announce something with them soon,” Uhrman concluded

Source: Polygon

Wii Discontinued In Europe

In conjunction with our previous news story on Nintendo of Japan discontinuing the best-selling Wii game console, it appears that Nintendo of Europe is following suit.

The company confirmed this week that the motion-based game console, which sold over 100 million units in its lifespan, has been discontinued.

“Wii imports to Europe have been discontinued,” confirmed a Nintendo rep, speaking with MCV. “However, there are still a variety of options for consumers to enjoy Wii games and the Wii gameplay experience. Wii U, which is Nintendo’s latest home console, is backwards compatible with nearly all existing Wii games and accessories…when you switch to Wii Mode on Wii U.”

However, the production shutdown will not affect the Wii Mini model, which is a smaller system for $99.99 only available in Canada right now, according to Nintendo. The Wii Mini has no Internet connectivity, download capability, SD card capability or backwards compatibility with the GameCube.

Meanwhile, the decision on the U.S. market still stands, as Nintendo of America will continue to stock the Wii throughout the holidays. It’s a not unreasonable speculation that the Wii may cease to be available in the U.S. in the near future, once inventory runs out. The Wii Mini may be tapped to replace the Wii, but Nintendo has yet to make any announcements about that.

Source: Computer and Video Games